I hope this newsletter finds you well.
For people worried about guns in our communities
The Arms Legislation Act was passed on 18th June 2020.
To be issued with a firearm it is required under the law to have a referee who, under the regulations, is to be a close family member and to have a second referee that, by law, must know the applicant well. The mad murderer behind the Christchurch Mosque attack was issued with a firearms license with two referees whose only contact had been in an internet chatroom and who live more than 1,000 miles away.
The Police Minister failed to answer questions about this essential matter and how it came to be. The 51 families of the victims deserve an answer, as do the 5 million New Zealanders, who were appalled by the Act.
If we are to get our arms law correct, driven by the tragedy that occurred on 15th March with the Mosque attack, then we should know the facts of what went wrong before we completely rewrite the law for New Zealand’s 400,000 law-abiding gun users. If the Minister was prepared to answer the questions, we could ensure we get the law right, which would have proved to be a more sensible approach as opposed to rushing this law through.
If we truly wanted to make the best possible arms laws so madmen such as that individual cannot access firearms, then we need the answers to the basic questions that go to the heart of the matter that saw those 51 people cowardly killed and a further 40 seriously injured.
The first piece of legislation was brought to Parliament under urgency to deal with the gun buy-back and several other matters related to people owning firearms in our community. At that time, the Government gave us estimates of the number of those guns that were out in the community, of how the buy-back may achieve a reduction in this number. Following this, in recent times, the Police Minister then clearly stated that this would take the guns out of the hands of gangs. Unfortunately, the statistics tell us that’s not going to happen. We have an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million guns in New Zealand society today, about 248,000 or 250,000 licensed gun owners and we had an estimated 240,000 guns that were to be acquired as part of the gun buy-back. We seem to have acquired around 65,000. Therefore, there could be almost 180,000 of these now illegal guns still in our community, in the hands of unlicensed people.
In the course of the first piece of legislation, we didn’t enable those who ran the gun buy-back to effectively buy back every gun of that type in New Zealand, which has created a massive challenge. This is one of the flaws that’s highlighted by this bill that shows frankly, this bill hasn’t got the background to do the job that it needed to do.
This piece of legislation puts a significant imposition on gun owners. The fact that the register has been delayed for three years is notable because we once had a register in New Zealand, which was disbanded for inefficiency. Although, in those days how you collected information was more difficult than today that information was likely much more secure. This is one of the greatest concerns that many submitters had when approaching Parliament to discuss the gun register. This worry surrounds the potential for that gun register to leak, consequently, this becomes a potential way for those people who shouldn’t have access to guns to get a hold of guns.
Nationals new Government
Congratulations to our new leader, Judith Collins, who will lead our strong team to election success. New Zealanders deserve an experienced and capable Government with the vision to get New Zealanders back to work – Only National can deliver that.
Last Friday, Judith Collins announced the largest infrastructure package in history. National’s Infrastructure Package will touch every community in New Zealand, reigniting our economy and creating thousands of jobs. National will spend $31 million on transport projects over the next decade, one of which, a four-lane expressway network connecting Whangārei, Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton, that includes tunnels under the Brynderwyn and Kaimai mountain ranges. National would scrap the Governments current light rail plans and instead in 2026 begin construction on a heavy-rail line from Puhinui to the airport, which will later be extended to Onehunga. National will solve New Zealand’s congestion crisis with the biggest infrastructure programme in New Zealand’s history.